Urullai Kizhangu Masala or Potato Masala – This recipe is an inspiration from a cookery cum travelogue show that I watch in News7(Tamil) called “Sutrulaam Suvaikalam“. The anchor had been to Madurai , the city with the magnificent Meenakshi Temple and Koodal Azhagar Koil.
This recipe comes from a place called “Nagapattinam Halwa house” , which is located in a small street next to the 4th “Goburam” of the Meenakshi Temple (FYI – Yes! Meenakshi Temple has 4 huge goburams) . A very famous eating joint run by the 4th generation of the founder Vishwanatha Iyer. This eating spot is famous for two items one is “Godhumai Halwa”(hence the name of the shop) and “Urullaikizhangu Pottalam” , in Thamizh Pottalam means a small packet or parcel , it is packed in a small parcel using Mandara elai. This costs only Rs 10/- and its extremely spicy. The owner briefly explained the method to make this delectable yet spicy dish and I immediately decided to make this for chappathi that evening. You can even have this with rice or rasam or sambar. In fact you can just hog on this just like that.
This masala technically does not need any masala!. The taste and the flavor comes from Fennel seeds , Shallots and red chilly powder. I made this using medium potatoes , I believe this will taste yummier when tried with baby potatoes. A very simple and easy dish to prepare , took me about 10 minutes to make (excluding the time take to boil the potatoes). You can try this dish with cooked Vazhakai – raw banana(plantains) or Senai kizhangu -(elephant yam).
Madurai’s famous Urullaikizhangu Masala
- Take 6 medium sized potatoes and boil them. Once they are cooked peel the skin and cut them into quarters.
- Now finely chop the shallots , for this dish the usage of shallots makes it unique and not the regular onions. So this is very important , if you wish to use regular onions then take 2 medium sized onions and finely chop them.
- Slit 2 green chillies , destem the mint leaves and finely chop the coriander leaves and set this aside.
- Now take a kadaai/ wok , on medium heat , add 3 tbsps of cooking oil (I used rice bran oil) and 2 tbsps of ghee . Once the ghee melts and this mixture gets heated , add fennel seeds , once the seeds splutter add chopped shallots , slit green chillies , salt , red chilly powder , mint leaves , curry leaves and chopped coriander leaves and saute them thoroughly.
- Once the onion and other ingredients get cooked , simmer the heat and add water. Now increase the heat to medium and allow this to boil for about 2 minutes.
- Now add in the boiled potatoes and let it boil in medium heat for another 5 minutes.
- Once the water gets almost evaporated , add besan or kadalai maavu or gram flour and mix this evenly. Take it off the heat and serve it hot with chappathi or dosai or puri. This is a semi gravy dish. Its not too dry but its not a gravy.
If you do not like the taste of Fennel seeds(Saunf or sombu) , you can instead add jeera (Cumin). But Cumin will alter the taste but this variation will also taste good.